FWC launches major study into Australian workplaces


FWC launches major study into Australian workplaces

Fair Work Commission has announced the launch of a major study into Australian workplaces with results expected in early 2015.


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Fair Work Commission has announced the launch of a major study into Australian workplaces with results expected in early 2015.

The Commission noted: ‘As part of its ongoing commitment to promote fair and flexible workplace relations for employers and employees in Australia, the Fair Work Commission has begun one of the most significant studies of Australian workplaces in nearly 20 years.

'Data from this study will provide comprehensive, up-to-date information for stakeholders, policy-makers and researchers on significant workplace relations matters affecting organisations and their workers in Australia.

'In particular, data will inform the Commission when conducting its annual wage reviews and pay equity matters.’

Study process

In coming weeks 3300 businesses, and up to 20 employees from each business, will be randomly selected and invited to participate in the Australian Workplace Relations Study (AWRS).

The president of the Fair Work Commission, Justice Iain Ross, said the AWRS would be the first study since the Australian Workplace Industrial Relations Survey in 1995 to generate a holistic picture of workplace relations in Australia.

‘These businesses and their employees will have a unique and confidential opportunity to provide valuable insights into the employment relations environment in Australia,’ Justice Ross said.

The key benefit of the study is in how it links data from employers and employees from a given enterprise to provide a comprehensive reflection of Australian workplaces.

‘Studies of this nature have enabled researchers in other countries to explore a range of employer-employee dynamics that can’t be analysed using separate employer and employee information,' Justice Ross added.


The broad themes of the research include:
    • workforce management, wage-setting and employee engagement practices
    • ownership structure, market competitiveness, labour productivity measurement and how enterprises respond to changes to the marketplace
    • performance, profitability, income sources and key expense items
    • workforce characteristics, including union density
    • employee demographics, remuneration and engagement.
Steering committee
The development of the study has been overseen by a steering committee including representatives from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Australian Industry Group, the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Commonwealth Department of Employment, Fair Work Ombudsman and Workplace Gender Equality Agency.

More details are at the FWC site.

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